Monday, September 17, 2012

Hello muscles?!

It's been 4 weeks now since we started the fitness challenge at work on August 20th and we had our final weigh in and measurements taken last Friday. 
So what were my results?

Although my goal in this isn't to focus on a number on the scale, I did lose 4 pounds.
I haven't got my body fat percentages taken (but I really need to!) so here are the measurements we did take:

Hips – 36”
Hips – 36.5”
Waist – 29”
Waist – 27”
Bust – 34.5”
Bust – 35.25”
Neck – 12.5”
Neck – 11.5”
Bicep – 9.25”
Bicep – 9.5”
Thigh – 19”
Thigh – 18”

I am really happy that my hard work is showing in the measurements! 2 inches off my waist and gaining a quarter inch on my biceps! Hello muscles!!

So how did I get my results?
Simple answer is clean eating, drinking lots of water and lifting heavy!

The first week I really focused on eating very clean but no working out. I also reduced the amounts of carbs and sugar in my diet.
Week 2 I incorporated healthy carbs back into my diet and focused on getting more protein and healthy fats. I also started working out, running and weights 
Weeks 3-4 eating clean and adding more workouts.

Lots of lean and green meals and always eating a healthy breakfast and 6 small meals or 3 meals with snacks was key. I will say that my diet wasn't perfect the 4 weeks, especially the last 2 weeks. I had weaknesses but the key was that I didn't over indulge. There was one night where we had some delicious pasta for dinner, I went back for a second bowl and after a bite realized I didn't need it and was full. I was proud of myself for not eating that second plate. Sugar has also been one of my weaknesses. I didn't have any candy for the first 2 weeks and even after that if I had anything I tried to make it a small bowl of ice cream or a small piece of candy and that has seemed to curb the sweet tooth.

As for workouts, I reduced the amount of running I have been doing. I have been focusing more on short runs or interval running. And I have been lifting weights 2-3 times a week at least.

Although I LOVE running long distances, I know it isn't going to help me reach my fitness goals right now. Incorporating interval running and lifting HEAVY is what is going to help build more muscle and turn burn more fat!

I have been going to the gym in the morning before work with Gene and he has really pushed me to start lifting heavy and getting out of my comfort zone. If I pick up the 10 pound dumbbell and start doing reps very easily, he gives me the 25 pound dumbbell and makes me work harder.

My new motto!
I've also been getting my workout motivations from Jess over at Blonde Ponytail. I tried her GNC Summer Series ab workout last week and not only was I sweating during the workout but my abs were sore for a few days after. I loved it!

Another motivational site I visit almost everyday is One Body Fitness on Facebook. This site was started up by a friend I went to high school with and haven't seen since college but she has completely "transformed her body, mind and approach to life". Please go like her page and check out her before and after pictures. She is a huge motivation of mine and always posts great workouts and recipes!

Even though our 4 week challenge at work is over, I still plan to continue my healthy living fitness journey. I'll try and post my results on here but mostly just plan on taking my measurements every 4 weeks.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Remembering CPT John Hallett

Three years ago yesterday (August 25th) marked the day that CPT John Hallett was killed in Afghanistan by an IED. Also in his Stryker who lost their lives that day were SPC Dennis Williams, SFC Ronald Sawyer & CPT Cory Jenkins.
LT Kim (left) 1SG Gene Hicks (center) & CPT John Hallett (right)
Yesterday I ran 5 miles to honor and remember CPT Hallett, SPC Williams, SFC Sawyer & CPT Jenkins.
CPT Hallett, first row, 4th one from the left sitting next to Gene and SPC Williams, first row, last one on the right.  
I only met John a handful of times so I have few memories, but he was not only Gene's Company Commander but his friend. So John's name is spoke of often in our home and I love it when he shares stories of him.
I have talked often about CPT Hallett and his amazing wife Lisa Hallett on my blog, who started where Blue Run to Remember, but today I want to share with you a letter Gene wrote home to me a few weeks after CPT Hallett's death. Gene felt comfortable enough to share this letter on his blog so you can go HERE and read it if you would like. I hadn't read the letter in probably 3 years so it brought back all the feelings, emotions and tears from that difficult year of deployment.
John you are always in our hearts, thoughts & prayers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A busy summer...

Sorry I've been MIA for a couple of weeks. Summer has been busy and it's almost over!

My son starts school next Monday! Where did the summer go?? 

We also moved last week. That was a long process and were are not completely done but just about.

Our new home. I love it!!

I absolutely love our new home. It's bigger than our last house which was much needed.
But the best part about the move? I have so many different running routes that don't involve lots of busy streets and traffic lights. And I don't have to drive anywhere to get a good run in, I can finally just run out my front door! I have so many more options - There's flat roads, hilly roads and there's some trails that are near me too!

Here's some pics from my last run.  
Flat stretch with a paved trail that runs on both sides of the roads.

The view going back to my house was a lot better

Beautiful sunrise

If you can't tell I am seriously excited about the new running routes. Hopefully this will give me the kick start I need to start running more often. It's been really difficult to get out the door. With the hot temps I need to wake up to run before work which is still difficult to do! And then the smoke in the air from all the fires we have has been really bad. But really I just need to stop making excuses and do it!

I'm hoping after this week I can get into more of a routine. Today we started a 4 week weight loss and fitness challenge at work. This week our focus is more healthy/clean eating. Next week we will incorporate exercise. We are actually posting our results in our office and on our Facebook page. I may post them on here too. But our hope is to get some of our patients to want to join in on our healthy living journey.

Well that's all for now. I am at work so better get back to actually working!
I'll try to not take another month to post on here :) 

I'll leave you with a picture of me and Dash enjoying a hot summer day while Gene was BBQing for us...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Heart Trail Running

This past weekend I did back to back runs on the trails.
Saturday I ran 7 miles and Sunday I ran 8.

Wore Blue to the hills

My paces were slow and I walked a lot of the uphills.
Especially on Sunday because my legs were sore from the previous day. But I loved being out there.
There is just something different about being out on the trail, overlooking Boise.
There was a section of the trail where I was all alone for a little while.

No mountain bikers or other runners in site. To know your are so close to the city yet it seems so far away at the same time. I love it.

It was also fun to get to break in my new trail shoes and get them dirty!

Pretty clean shoes, dirty fun shoes!

After Saturday's trail run we all had some lunch then walked over to Camel's Back park and tried running up the big hill.
Hill repeats anyone?
Yea we couldn't run up it but it we did make it to the top and had some fun before heading back down.

Climed to the top with my son (in purple) and my nephew. You can see Dash chasing them up the hill

Midway down Dash decided he was done and laid down in the shade and wouldn't move.

Dash resting in the shade refusing to go back down.
Literally wouldn't move for anything! I actually had to carry him down haha.

This is his happy face

After Sunday's run all I was focusing on was some one on one time with the Tiger Tail. (It is similar to The Stick). After trying it out at the Seattle Rock n Roll expo I knew I wanted one. I ordered one and it finally came in last week and I have been loving it!

I Heart Happy Muscles

I used it to work out some knots in my left calf that I didn't even really feel before until I was rolling over it with the Tiger Tail. The next day I had some major soreness but now my calf feels great! The past few months I have had some posterior shin splints in my left leg and my last few runs I haven't felt the shin splints at all! I have been so thankful for my pain free runs and it couldn't come as a better time as I am ready to start increasing my weekly mileage in preparation for my next big race. But more on that soon :) 

Can't wait to get out to the trails this weekend and enjoy some of natures beauty. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Today I ran 4 miles. Four miles for the Fourth :)
On my drive home from my run I saw the above going down the street.
Beautiful to see.

I wanted to get on really quick and ask you all to go over to Another Mother Runner and check out their Why I Run, where I am lucky enough to be featured today.
Thank you Dimity & Sarah for allowing me to share my story and getting the word out about

I also wanted to share with you a link to a story that will be featured on HLN tonight titled

I just recently started reading her blog After Blast Warrior Wife. I definitely recommend it for a look into the life of a wounded warrior wife.

Read her story on HLN (here).
Thank you to her husband SPC Aaron Causey for his service. And thank you Kathleen for being a strong Military wife.  

Thank you to all our Soldiers out there fighting now for our freedom.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Seattle Rock & Roll Marathon Recap

It's always so difficult for me to write the recap for this race. It's hard to put into words all the emotions I felt during this marathon.  I really felt blessed and thankful the entire weekend I was in Seattle. From the dinners I was invited to attend and all the goodies I received, to spending time with friends and family, and being able to share Saturday's race with Wear Blue Run to Remember, it was truely an amazing weekend.
The Wear Blue Run to Remember group photo in corral 17
My gear laid out ready to rock the streets of Seattle!

Before we set out to run we all gathered in corral 17 for the circle of rememberance.

We start with a moment of silence, followed by calling out the names of the fallen Soldier you are running for, and ending in prayer.

Then it's time to get pumped and ready to run! It so excited being around people you don't know (since I can't run with them in WA) but yet feel so connected because you are all running for the same reason.

As we approach the start, the announcer that is counting down to release the corrals tells everyone about the group and then starts calling the names of the fallen Soldiers.
This is when the emotions really yet me.
To know that all the people around you that are not part of Wear Blue Run to Remember know why you are running and what the blue shirts mean. It's not a running club. It's a way to help people heal. It's a way to help honor and remember.
My eyes teared up when the woman standing in front of me was shedding tears after they said her Soldiers name. I'm not sure who she was and what the relation was. But what I do remember is her saying "this is a happy day" That stuck with me for the entire race. This is a happy day.
A time to remember. Every footstep I take wearing the blue shirt with the Soldiers names on the back is my way of remembering them and letting their families know we have not forgotten you.

Gene's served with the Soldiers in 1-17 IN
It's my way of also of letting Gene know that I have not forgotten his Soldiers that he fought next to day in and day out in Afghanistan in one of the toughest wars he has ever deployed too.

As we started running the miles started flying by. I was holding a pace about a 9:30ish pace for the first few miles. With all the adrenaline and excitement I was trying hard not to go fast.
As I was about to approach mile 4 I saw a friend I hadn't seen since high school cheering me on from the sidelines. It was a welcome site since all my other friends were actually running the race so I knew I wouldn't see them till the end. And to my surprise I saw my friend a few times throughout the course.

Most of the miles really just blend together. I was feeling great and walking through water stops. As the half and full marathoners split I did see Alma from The Average Woman's Running Blog. I gave her a big high five and continued on to Seward Park. This was my favorite part of the race. It was so beautiful and peaceful. The crowd had thinned out since it was only marathoners now so I had people running in front and behind me but no one beside me. I really was just loving being out there and enjoying the views. I wasn't thinking about how many miles I had left or how fast or slow I was going. I was just running for the pure enjoyment.

When we finally looped around I loved seeing the other Wear Blue runners and cheering them on as they cheered me on. I did get to see some of my friends that had made the trip from Idaho to also run the full marathon together.

Soon we were joined with the half marathoners again so it got a little crowded and I was really starting to get warm with my hat on but was just thankful that it wasn't raining. I knew that the wear blue mile was coming up soon. This year I was prepared for it. Last year was my first year running this race and wasn't prepared for all the emotions that would hit me when I passed the photos and flags. But this year, I remembered that it was a happy day.

I slowly ran and tapped each photo that I could. Looking at the names of these men and calling them out in my head. As I tapped each photo I saw one of Gene's Soldier and best friend who he had served with in Iraq in 2004-2005.

SPC Clint Gertson.

That really touched me and brought tears to my eyes cause I wasn't expecting to see his photo. I never got to meet Gertson but Gene speaks of him often and his photo is up in our home.

Gertson (bottom right) and Gene (top left)

As I approached the flags the men and woman holding them were cheering for me. But I was cheering for them. Telling them thank you and giving them each high fives.

After the flags was the wear blue water stop and I said thank you to all the volunteers as I walked thru to drink my water. Just after this I text Gene and told him about the picture of Gertson.

The next few miles all blended together. As we turned onto the floating bridge I was feeling great. But soon we hit the first tunnel that seemed to last forever. I started getting dizzy and it felt hot and muggy in there so I took my first walk break (aside from the water stop walk thru's). I really felt like a lot of my energy was being drained from the tunnels and the heat without the shade of trees out on the bridge. I also realized how great walking felt so I started taking them more often. And that really was ok with me. I just wanted to enjoy this marathon. So I ran when I could and walked when I needed to from here to the end of the marathon. I did have a mantra I kept repeating in my head throughout the race that helped push me when I needed it "For the Families, For the Fighting, For the Fallen" (the saying that's in the shoe print on the back of my shirt)

The only part I did enjoy of this section of the race was the out and back because I again got to see my fellow Wear Blue runners and got to cheer them on.

Lisa Hallett holding the flag. She is the co-founder of Wear Blue Run To Remember
Photo Source
I had chatted with Lisa at the beginning and then saw her multiple times throughout. She was running with a group of people and they were passing the flag to each other throughout the marathon.
She really is one of the most inspirational woman I know. I only got to meet her husband CPT John Hallett a handful of times but his name is also spoken of often in our home.

I'm not sure which mile it was at but it was just before our last tunnel another Wear Blue runner came up next to me and we chatted for a while. She was running her first full marathon and her husband is deployed to Afghanistan right now. She gave me a little boost of energy but it didn't last long. Her pace was great and as we were in the final tunnel I had to walk and told her to go ahead. I really wish I would have stayed with her looking back at it now. It would have been nice to have the company!

I stopped at about mile 20 and text Tiffany to let her know what mile marker I was at and what my pace was (about 10 min at this point).

Finally getting closer to the Space Needle! These last few miles are the hardest cause there is so many people walking but I tried to run as much as I could even though it was at a slow pace.
Soon I could hear the crowds cheering and knew I was close.

As we were approaching the last few meters I started to get more excited and picked up the pace a little more. I see mile marker 26 but also see a hill I have to climb to get to the finish. I wanted to walk but didn't and kept on running finally reaching the top and started looking for my fellow Wear Blue runners and spotted them on the sidelines cheering us in to the finish. I cheered loud and yelled out Go Wear Blue!!! As they did and felt so happy at this moment. Not because I was about to cross the finish line but because I knew what I was running for and it felt great to run and remember. I heard the announcer call out my name and I threw my hands up and cheered as I crossed the finish line.

Official Time - 4:35:27
Pace 10:31
Garmin Time for 26.62 miles - 4:35:34
Pace 10:21

Overall 1588 out of 3091
Division 127 out of 270
Gender 582 out of 1434
5k 29:33
10k 59:54
Half 2:07:07
17.6 mi 2:54:02
20 Mi 3:23:59

As I walked thru the finishers area I grabbed my water and food and looked towards the sides for Tiffany and Alyssa. All of a sudden I turned around and they were in front of me.
Tiffany snapped a quick picture

She told me I looked really relaxed. After she said that I realized I was. I didn't feel like I had just run 26.2 miles. I did feel relaxed and peaceful but I also felt happy.

It was a happy day and I felt blessed and thankful to be a part of it. This race always grounds me and reminds me of part of the reason I started running and why I continue to run.

I can't wait to run it again next year!

For the Families, For the Fighting, For the Fallen

Wear Blue Run to Remember
If you would like to know more about Wear Blue please click the link above.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ready to run Seattle!

Tomorrow I'll be on a plane heading to Seattle!!!

2011 Seattle RnR Marathon

I'm ready to run the Seattle Rock & Roll Marathon!

This race for me isn't about the medal or a PR.
It's about honoring the fallen.
My goal for this race is just to remember why I run and that I'm able to run and honor those who cannot.

For those of you running, look for the wear blue mile just after the half and full marathoners split.

Say thank you to the volutneers at the water station because many of them are either in the military or are family members.

Each of the flags will have a ribbon with a name of a fallen Soldier.
Say thank you to those holding the flags because many of them are wives & husbands, mothers & fathers, sons & daughters, brothers & sisters, and friends of the Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sybil Williamson grabbing hold of her son's flag. She ran the 2011 Seattle RnR marathon in honor of her son SGT Patrick Williamson who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.

For the Families, For the Fighting, For the Fallen

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Boise See Jane Run Half Marathon Recap

The stats:

Official time 2:02:12
AG: 11/45
Overall: 64/328

The recap:

Friday I picked up my race packet from the See Jane Run store.

Packet pickup was quick and easy and I really liked the new reusable bags. The shirts are cute but not quite sure how I feel about the red color yet, I think it needs to grow on me.
I'm also glad they used the D-tags for timing chip this year. Normally the local races have timing chips you wear around your wrist or ankle or ones attached to your bib.

Race morning I got up at 6 am for the 8am start time. I didn't have my normal breakfast of a Cliff bar & pb so had to go with the Luna bar I had got in my packet. I think this came back to haunt me at the end of the race.
This year the race started and ended at Julia Davis Park and the course is on the beautiful greenbelt. The weather was beautiful with the start at about 55 degrees and I think by the time we finished it was in the low 60's.

Me running on the greenbelt back in April

They had their usual "warmup" with some 80's music. It was fun to watch :)

A few minutes before 8 I went over to the starting line. They asked that all the "fast" runners who planned in winning to line up right at the front cause they would be going off gun time and not chip time for the winners.
Not to many woman lined up at the front. Most were staying clear back so I lined up a little bit behind the "leaders" so I wouldn't have to do any weaving.

For this race I didn't really have a goal time in mind. Just wanted to have fun and not push it too hard. I held a pretty good pace of just under 9 minute miles the first half. I knew this was probably too fast but I just figured I'd listen to my body and slow down if I needed to. For the most part the race was uneventful cause I usually run in this area so the course was very familiar.
Around mile 6 I was getting warm (wishing I would have worn a tank top) and my body was asking to slow down. So I walked thru the water stop and took some Gu. I accidentally hit the lap button at some point during the run so my splits were all messed up but I just tried to keep a comfortable pace which was right around a 9:20 pace. About mile 11 my stomach was starting to hurt and there was a bathroom but I figured I could just hold out 2 more miles. Well about mile 12 I really had wished I had stopped to used the bathroom cause my stomach was really not happy with me at this point. I figured it was cause I didn't have my usual breakfast. I didn't want to walk the last mile so I slowed down. As we rounded the corner nearing the finish line I tried to pick up the pace as much as I could to finish strong (and so I could quickly go use the restroom!)

After I crossed I got my cute finishers medal and champagne glass with 2 chocolates in it!!! Yes people it's the little things like chocolate that make me happy and overuse exclimation points.

They had a good setup of food for the finishers.

Luna bars and bananas and another tent not pictured with pretzels and bagels.
I stayed for a little while after the race to chat with my friend and look around the different booths. They had ifitness, glam headbands, axiom gym, gypsy runner and others.

They also had some fun quotes up and a finishers photo area.

Champagne glasses with chocolate candies!

Last year they had Degree there with their own finish photo area but this year it was more of a photo booth. I tried to pose differently for all 3 but they came out silly haha.

The other two are decals I bought from the gypsy runner booth. I also got some arm sleeves but didn't take a pic of.
I was really surprised that this years overall winner came in at 1:40. Now this IS fast to me, but last year the winner came in around 1:20 and considering this is one Boise "bigger" races most winners are usually in that time range. This really made me wish I would have trained to run it faster and I could have possibly placed in my age group. But then looking at the results the top 3 in my AG came in at 1:45-1:47.
You never know what it will be like next year so I hope to try and make this a PR race  :) I'll also be in a whole other age category. Not sure how I feel about that yet haha.

Overall I was really happy with this race. It is one of my favorite Boise races and I was really thankful See Jane Run gave me the opportunity to run it this year! There isn't many races I want to run yearly here but this is definitely one of them!

I'll leave you with some super cheesy race photos.

I really don't know if I'm waving hi or waving stop.
 Well at least I have a race this weekend to improve on my mid-run wave :)

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